Origin: United Kingdom (Wales)
Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 14-16 years
Weight: Male: 10-11, Female: 10-10.5
Height: Male: 11-12, Female: 10-22
Origin of Name: The Sealyham Terrier is a small to medium-sized terrier that originated in Wales as a hunting dog.
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The name Sallyham Terrier honors the Selly Ham estate on the Seal River in southwestern Wales, where this strong and confident terrier was born first. The breed's father was an army captain named John Edwards, who retired at the age of 40 in the mid-1800s and spent the rest of his life developing his dream dog.
Seeley's primary objective was to work in support of the Captain's Otterhound Pack. Beaver was considered a pest in those days, which reduced fish populations on vast estates such as silly ham. Edwards made his terrier so strong and tough that he could drive the razor-toed beaver out of his den. Edwards left no written record of his breeds, and modern officials disagree with the exact lineage of the Captain's original Sealys. The names of the breed tied to his theories are Bull, Dandy Dinmont and West Highland White Terrier. Whatever the exact breed mix, the captain was admirably successful, creating a fearless, hardworking hunter who was also a delightful companion on the edge of the fire. The years between the World Wars were the American heyday of the breed. The Sealys won Westminster's Best in Show award three times in this era, among them the most famous show of the Prohibition era was Dog, a Seeley named Bootlegger. His high profile was further promoted by A-list Hollywood owners such as Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper and Carrie Grant.
Seeing many of the breed's best traits, Seeley's popularity with pet owners has diminished since those primeval days - surprising. ""They can be one of the best kept secrets in dogs,"" says a Seeley lover. Today's breed is slightly larger and more sociable than the feudalistic terrier first bred by Captain Edwards. Their friendships are well used as medical staff in nursing homes and children's hospitals.